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Erin M. JD
Erin M. JD, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 135
Experience:  Practice Family Law in Texas
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Hello, a divorce question here from overseas.. I am an American

Customer Question

Hello, a divorce question here from overseas..
I am an American and my wife is from Finland. A few years ago she gave up her Green card (I should say she didnt and boy was it a huge process of her facing a ten year ban of returning to the US.But that was past business)
I have been in Finland for 5 years now, we have 2 kids, we are divorced here and I amjust finishing up getting sole custody of the 2 kids.
Being overseas... How do I officially divorce her in the US as we had our marriage noted in both countries. Is there an easy way to get this done in the US as she is not a resident of the US and we have finished our divorce here overseas. Thanks, Graham
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Erin M. JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you! A divorce in a foreign country is recognized in the U.S. based upon reciprocity as long as both parties were given notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard. You do not have to obtain another divorce in the U.S. in the future, should you want to enforce the terms of the divorce in the U.S., you will have to register the order in your state of residence (in most, if not all, states).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

First off before we begin, good thing that my cell phone tells me of responses because no popo up box came up as it should when you answered. Justa side note that I hope you can pass along to JA as I would havebeen waiting here all night for your response...


I am an educated Doctor of Pharmacy and believe me I cannot make sense of how you worded your answer.


1. What does it mean that both parties were given notice and an opportunity to be heard. The Finnish divorce was done here (obviously) and the process is completely different from any American process by a long shot....


2. It seems completely contradictory that I dont have to obtain a divorce in the US.


3. Then you say that "should you want to enforce the terms in the US...." Of course I do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


4. So why do you say this must be registered in my state, it is NY, So that contradicts your second sentence, does it not??


5. I need thisw all done so if and when I get married again in NY they say I am married.


I am sorry but now I amconfused more than ever....

Expert:  Erin M. JD replied 1 year ago.
As long as the divorce was done properly in Finland, it will be recognized in the United States under The Hague Convention and the law of comity which means that this nation will recognize rulings of other nations. You do not have to obtain a divorce in Finland and then obtain a divorce in the U.S. The United States will give full faith and credit to another country's divorce ruling.

By enforcing the decree, I mean that, if your wife were to somehow come to the United States and try to take the children, for example, you could register it in your state to enforce the decree, i.e. the portion of the order that gives you a superior right of possession of the children.
Erin M. JD, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 135
Experience: Practice Family Law in Texas
Erin M. JD and 9 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Erin M. JD replied 1 year ago.
Also, your answer may not have popped up because I changed to Q&A instead of chat. I will inform the moderators that you've noted this concern.

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